Suzanne, we did this tour in May and loved it. Have you been to any of these cities before? We had been to Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome previously, so we were looking to see things we’d missed before. That impacted the choices we made. Our focus was a little different, but I’m just going to list what we booked on our own.
In Venice we booked a Walks of Italy tour of St. Mark’s and the Doges Palace. I wanted to book their Secret Itinerary of those two but I waited too long and the spots were taken. We also booked Alessandro Schezzini’s cicchetti tour in Venice and thoroughly enjoyed both he and the cicchetti ( page 49 in the guidebook)
In Varenna we we booked dinner at It Caminetto. They require reservations and only do 22 dinners a night. However, they also do cooking classes (p. 244). They will pick you up in Varenna and return you.
We just wandered in Cinque Terre. If I was going to do it again, I would have booked a cooking class in Florence. We had been there before, so we had seen the Florence “biggies”, we did make it to the Pitti Palace and Boboli gardens which I really wanted to see. We also did the Duomo museum at our guide’s suggestion, which wasn’t on our radar and it was fabulous as we did it first thing in the morning.
The large family group booked dinner at the farm-to-table restaurant on p. 759 in Assisi. We did our own wandering in Assisi and it was very warm while we were there. This is one place where a guide might have made our stop more cohesive, but we loved the town.
We’ve done food tours in Rome with Through Eternity and thought about the ones through Eating Europe this trip, but the looming test to return to the US kind of dampened our enthusiasm and we’d been in Rome in 2019.